May 06, 2016 / by Katie Gaab

Ninety percent of communication crises could be avoided if brands plan ahead. But no matter the type, timing or location of a crisis, what ultimately determines whether a brand leaves unscathed or scourged depends on its response.

Be proactive and turn to a real-time tactic that is often overlooked or underutilized: partnering with influencers.

Here are four ways influencers will give your crisis communication strategy a boost when it’s struggling to keep up with what’s being said:

1. Increase Trust Amidst Chaos

While a portion of your audience may include brand advocates, the large majority were once, or still are, skeptical of your messaging. That’s ultimately why you’ve set up an influencer marketing strategy in the first place.

Edelman’s 2016 Trust Barometer found that 78 percent of people look to and trust peers for their recommendations and opinions. And when your clients are in a panic, they’ll likely turn to those same people for advice before they consider listening to your company spokesperson.

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2. Keep Damage At a Distance

While it’s certainly important to team up with top thought leaders, remember that influencers provide an opportunity to keep negative conversations away from your brand.

By monitoring what types of associations are made between your brand and the crisis at hand, you can determine what factors would help offset the conversation. Then, determine which of your influencers would align best with what you’re trying to accomplish in diverting the media’s and your audience’s attention.

3. Bring a New Perspective

Influencers are partners for your brand, but they are not representatives of your brand. They have their own following, interests and way with words.

As such, when they speak up for your brand, they inject a new, credible perspective into the unfolding situation. Encourage them to be the thought leader of the event and provide your message points so they’re aware of how you’re hoping to resolve the situation.

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Image via Pixabay: 1

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About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.